LOS ANGELES -- An attorney who has tangled with Michael Jackson called yesterday for child welfare authorities to temporarily remove the pop star's three children from his custody because of new child molestation allegations.
Gloria Allred's demand arose as quiet descended on Santa Barbara following Jackson's media-saturated surrender Thursday.
An arrest warrant alleges Jackson committed lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14. The Santa Barbara district attorney has said he does not plan to file charges until after Thanksgiving.
After posting $3 million bail Thursday, Jackson returned to the Las Vegas area, but his whereabouts yesterday were unclear.
At a news conference yesterday, Allred said she has twice asked child-welfare officials to investigate Jackson. "I believe the children should be temporarily removed from Mr. Jackson's care and custody because of the history of Michael Jackson with children . . . combined with present criminal allegations," she said.
Allred said she was "acting as a citizen."
She cited statements Jackson has made about having sleepovers with children, a previous molestation allegation, and an incident in which he dangled his infant son outside the window of a German hotel last year.
In 1993, Allred briefly represented a 13-year-old boy involved in a molestation allegation that never led to criminal charges. The case reportedly ended with Jackson paying a multimillion-dollar civil settlement.
Jackson has three children: 6-year-old Prince Michael I, 5-year-old Paris, and a baby, Prince Michael II. Little is known about the youngest child, whose mother has not been identified. Prince Michael I and Paris were born during his marriage to nurse Debbie Rowe, which ended in 1999.
Michael X. Dean, deputy director of Santa Barbara County Social Services, on Thursday declined to say whether there were plans to take Jackson's children into custody, citing confidentiality rules.
Dean said that generally, criminal charges can prompt a child welfare investigation, but he added that such an investigation is not automatic.